October 4, 2005
Claudia Fitzgerald promoted to chef de cuisine at historic Williamsburg Inn
The Colonial Williamsburg Company has announced the appointment of Claudia Fitzgerald to the position of chef de cuisine at the Williamsburg Inn, historic Colonial Williamsburg’s flagship hotel. In her new role as executive chef, Fitzgerald is responsible for the Inn’s culinary and special event operations. A 1991 graduate of Johnson and Wales University, Norfolk, Va., and a certified chef de cuisine with the American Culinary Federation, the promotion puts Fitzgerald light years ahead of the national trend.
According to recent National Restaurant Association figures, women hold only 18 percent of the top jobs as executive chefs (a 2 percent drop from five years ago).
"Claudia has a distinguished career in the culinary and hospitality industry. Her professionalism, talent, incredible passion and team spirit enable us to continue the growth and enhancement of our fine culinary and hospitality heritage,” said Chef Hans Schadler, Colonial Williamsburg executive chef and director of culinary operations.
“There are many talented female chefs and I am encouraged that more will have the opportunity to become executive chefs,” said Fitzgerald, who lives in Williamsburg with her husband Daniel, daughter Laura and their two yellow labs, Beatrice and Pearl.
Chef Fitzgerald originally joined the Colonial Williamsburg Company and the Williamsburg Inn in 1991. She worked in various kitchen positions prior to her promotion to chef de partie and resort sous chef. During her tenure with Colonial Williamsburg, she earned numerous culinary awards from the American Culinary Federation and participated in the International Food Service Executive Show.
Chef Fitzgerald has served many visiting heads of state including the President of the People’s Republic of China, Jiang Zemin; Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister; as well as kings and queens from Norway and Sweden, among others.
In 1999, Chef Fitzgerald departed Williamsburg to become restaurant chef at Turtle Bay Estate House at Caneel Bay, a world-renowned Rosewood Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Noted as one of the best restaurants in the Caribbean, Turtle Bay and Chef Fitzgerald garnered awards and recognition for excellence from publications such as Wine Spectator and Travel + Leisure magazines. While at Turtle Bay, she served guests accustomed to the very finest dining experiences with clientele that included the entertainment world’s Alan Alda, Mel Brooks, Anne Bancroft, Katie Couric, John Travolta, as well as members of the Rockefeller family.
Chef Fitzgerald accepted the position of executive sous chef at the Williamsburg Inn and returned to Colonial Williamsburg in May 2002. Until her recent promotion, she worked as the special events chef for the Office of the President of Colonial Williamsburg.
The Regency-style Williamsburg Inn is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America and enjoys affiliation with the Leading Small Hotels of the World. The hotel is operated by the not-for-profit Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and revenues support the Foundation’s educational programs and Historic Area preservation and operations.
Carol C. Godwin